Al's Place Farmington, MO
Al's Place Farmington, MO

Al’s Place

Looks like I am stuck at Al’s Place for another day. The TransAm Cyclery is closed on Sunday and the nearest bicycle shop is 39.1 miles away in Crystal City, MO. I am going to post on CouchSurfing to see if I can crash at someone’s house tonight. I have a place to stay, but it’s always more fun meeting new people and exchanging stories. Tomorrow I will see if I need a new rim for my bicycle. I already replaced the lining with thick tape, and switched to thorn resistant tubes, but the inside of my tubes keep popping. The tubes I purchased were 20 to 23C x 700, but I asked for 23 to 25C x 700…So I am crossing my fingers that they sold me the wrong tubes again. I have only run into one reliable bike shop along the way and that was in Vincennes, Indiana. Allen definitely knew the mechanics of a bicycle. When I took it to him he checked over the rim and everything appeared to be fine. I will get it checked out tomorrow. I have just been putting so much money into tubes that it’s unreal. Over 12 front tubes in the matter of a few days at about eight dollars a piece tends to get quite expensive. I am going to check the web and see if there is something exciting to do today within walking distance. When I spoke with Ken last night he suggested Taum Sauk Mountain State Park and hot springs in the area. I just do not know how far away they are located. For now I’m lounging at Al’s Place and resting up for another big day of cycling tomorrow.

I forgot to mention I emailed Adam and found him on Instagram. Noticed he is almost in Florida. That guy is a beast. He started in Colorado touring across the country on his bicycle. Apparently after I met up with him in Virginia he ditched his front panniers after seeing my minimalist setup. Glad I could help him out. Maybe I will see him when I hit Colorado.

I finished a lot of items on my agenda today since I took a zero day again (sadly). I hate staying in the same spot more than a day. I have become so accustomed to roaming around each day that it gets boring sitting on my ass, but I enjoyed lounging on the comfy couches at Al’s Place. I wrote out three postcards, one to Maizy, one to Lexi, and one to my Mother, Sister and Erick. I finished watching some movies on Netflix, cancelled my auto insurance, and updated Facebook with the rest of the photos from my trip thus far. A guy on Instagram suggested I take the Katy Trail through Missouri. He said it’s less steep, no cars, and just as scenic. I am going to inquire about it at the TransAm Cyclery tomorrow when they check out my front rim to see if I need a replacement. If this is the case I will veer off the trail and take the Katy Trail through the rest of Missouri. I don’t think I will get to see Chelsea before she leaves this weekend, but it’s a possibility. Maybe she can show me around Mizzou. If not there are many other places I need to check out still so it doesn’t matter. I also uploaded a GoPRO video to YouTube of me crossing the MacArthur Bridge from Illinois to Missouri over the Mississippi River, but it’s still processing. I will be sure to embed the link here once it’s up and viewable. It’s nothing special, but I wanted you all to see the view I saw while going over the bridge. The video quality is actually quite detailed.


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Brian Cray is not a cyclist. He’s not a hitchhiker. He’s not a train hopper or an adrenaline junkie. He’s just an ordinary man with gypsy blood in his veins, who can’t seem to settle down. Nothing defines him. He goes wherever this world takes him on this journey we call life, roaming the world, at will, by any means. He aspires for a life of indefinite travel, a tiny home in the woods for him and his wife, and any work that keeps him wanderin’. Brian Cray is a travel writer at heart, sharing his stories with the world one keystroke at a time.


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